Naik with the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi
India CSR Network
NEW DELHI: An Indian blind cricketer and a former captain of the India national blind cricket team Shekar Naik has been selected for this year 2016 Padma Awards. He is associated with Samarthanam and championing the cause of Blind Cricket in India. Shekar Naik is former captain of Indian Blind cricket team. He will receive Padma Shri Award.
Seven sportspersons are among this year’s list of Padma Shri awardees this year. They are: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, Olympian Sakshi Malik, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, national hockey team captain PR Sreejesh, farmer captain of India’s blind cricket team Shekar Naik and Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu.
The awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
Shekar Naik, was born in 1986 in district Shimoga, Karnataka. He hails from an economically weak and less privileged family. His keen interest in sports was not supported by his community but was often frowned upon. For about 8 years (1986-1994) he suffered from complete blindness. In 1994, accidently he fell into a canal and eye check-up camp brought him to Bangalore where later he was operated.
Blindness can be observed as a genetically transferred feature in his family as his grandmother suffered from the similar disorder. He was enrolled in a blind school, ‘Shri sharadha devi’, Shimoga where he started playing cricket. In 1997, he started working towards shaping up his cricket career and later on in 1998 was selected for the State level tournament.
The announcement comes as India is all set to host the 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind from 29th January 2017 to 12th February 2017 with 10 countries participating. This announcement comes at a very crucial time as India is all geared up to defend its title on one hand, while at the same time struggling to get recognition.